The Treasury Department announced on Thursday that the United States and France have signed a bilateral agreement requiring French banks to report to the French government information about their U.S. account holders. The government of France will forward that information to the IRS, and in return the IRS will provide similar information to France about French account holders at U.S. financial institutions.
France was one of six countries (along with Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States) that participated in developing model intergovernmental agreements designed to implement the information-reporting and tax-withholding provisions of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). This law, enacted in 2010 as part of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act, P.L. 111-147, requires non-U.S. financial institutions to report information about financial accounts held by U.S. taxpayers or by foreign entities in which U.S. taxpayers hold a substantial interest.
The agreement with France is the 10th FATCA intergovernmental agreement signed to date, Treasury reports.
—Alistair Nevius (email@example.com) is JofA editor-in-chief, tax.